IBF featherweight world champion Luis Alberto Lopez has relished the role of the spoiler to the hometown hero for most of his career, now he wishes to look to do against “The Monster” Naoya Inoue in Japan.

Inoue knocked out Luis Nery in the sixth round making the first defense of his undisputed junior featherweight titles at the Tokyo Dome, Japan on Monday. 

Lopez (30-1, 17 KOs) took to social media to declare his intentions to the world. Lopez is hopeful that, given Inoue’s dominance over the junior featherweight division, an inevitable move up to featherweight will be in the future for the man known as “The Monster”. 

“Here I wait calmly for @naoyainoue_410 when he rises to 126,” tweeted Lopez in Spanish from X account. 

Lopez, better known as “Veando”, last fought in March when he stopped Reiya Abe of Japan in the eighth round. He has made three world title defenses since obtaining his title and Lopez’s willingness to fight the toughest opponents, and travel to their backyard, has made him a popular fighter. His team believes it is only a matter of time before Lopez lands the fight with Inoue (27-0, 24 KOs).

“I think Venado knocks out Inoue,” said Lopez’s co-manager Hector Fernandez, who co-manages Lopez with Luis “Kiki” Magana. “I am willing to bet my house that ‘Venado’ wins this fight.”

Lopez is set to return tentatively in August. The hope is that, after Lopez fights, and if he is successful it could open the door for a fight with Inoue in 2025, should the Japanese star move up in weight. 

Lopez has been a true road warrior defeating unbeaten Gabriel Flores, Isaac Lowe, and Michael Conlan as the B-side fighter. His world title win was also in his opponent’s hometown as he defeated Josh Warrington in Leeds.

“He fights like s*** when he is the A-side,” added Fernandez. “It is very important for him to beat the guy. When we talk, he always asks me who is the guy right now at 126 [lbs].”

Whoever the best is, Lopez wants. Lopez has taken some losses but has not backed down from a challenge, and he won’t back down from a fight with the “Monster.” 

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